From Samuel Agbewode, Nkwanta
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, has challenged students of the first batch of the Free Senior High School (SHS) system to learn hard and come out with good grades to shame those criticising the programme.
“For all those Jeremiahs who said free SHS is not possible should come to Nkwanta SHS to see things for themselves about the success story of the free SHS. Look, we cannot wait, as a country, to provide all our infrastructure needs in our schools before implementing the free SHS. No, the time is now,” he said.
Addressing students of Ntroboman and Nkwanta SHS, all in the Oti Region, as part of his tour of the area, the President said education is the pillar for development of every country, and mentioned the Federal Republic of Germany, which, according to him, used education as a springboard to develop its people and infrastructure.
Nana Akufo-Addo told the students that as President of Ghana, he would follow the good examples set by the advanced countries, by developing the educational sector to accelerate the total development of the country.
He argued that the resources of the country cannot be properly harnessed if the people are not well educated, and that education is the best resource the people of Ghana must have.
He noted that any new programme such as the free SHS would definitely face challenges, but that does not mean it is a bad social intervention policy.
According to him, GH¢500 million had been set aside from the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) to provide infrastructure for the free SHS programme. This, he continued, would eventually end the double track system.
The President further told the students that Ntroboman and Nkwanta SHSs were beset with infrastructure problems, but his political opponents, despite being in power for many years, could not address them.
He, however, promised the students that the infrastructure problem would be addressed by his administration.
He said because of the interest Nkwanta SHS has for agriculture, the government would provide the school with one tractor, and urged the youth to take advantage of the available opportunities to develop themselves.
The headmasters of Ntroboman and Nkwanta SHSs, Mr. Benjamin Bakata and Wisdom Anan, appealed to the President to help provide their schools with dormitories, additional classrooms, dining halls, teachers’ bungalows, science laboratories, and vehicles, which the schools lack and which were making administration extremely difficult.
Nana Addo inaugurated a modern storey building administration block built under his administration for the Ntroboman SHS, and also cut the sod for work to begin on a 300-bed capacity girls’ hostel for Nkwanta SHS.
The president cut another sod at Kpassa in the Nkwanta North District for work to start on the bituminous surfacing of the 12-kilometre Mama-Akroa road to help open up the district for viable socio-economic activities.
Nana Addo said as part of his campaign promise, he assured Ghanaians that when voted into power he would not become an armchair President, but would visit the regions to personally to access the level of development, which would give him a clear idea about the needs of the people.